Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of occupational adaptation among a small number of older Dutch persons with physical disabilities. Occupational adaptation was tentatively defined as overcoming disabling influences on occupational functioning. Eight occupational therapy clients, who were living in the community, were interviewed using an open in-depth interview format. A phenomenological analysis resulted in descriptions of occupational adaptation as a process that required these clients’ active engagement. The clients recruited already familiar problem-solving strategies and personal resources as well as resources in their social and physical environments to identify prospects of potential solutions and to create solutions to overcome constraints on occupational functioning. Furthermore, participants strived for finding satisfaction through occupations, a meaning theme which emerged as the object of occupational adaptation. Satisfaction through occupations was found in maintaining daily routines and engaging in fulfilling occupations.

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